An Introduction to Lumbar Pain Management
The lumbar spine (lower back), supports the upper body, providing mobility for movements such as twisting, bending, walking and running. Injury or damage to this area causes chronic lower back pain which make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. You can eliminate mild back pain with plenty of bed rest and over the counter pain medication. However, for severe cases, you will need to see a medical practitioner at a pain treatment clinic.
Non-Surgical Medical Treatment Options For Lumbar Pain Management
Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI): An ESI is an effective lumbar pain management treatment, it works by injecting a combination of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent into the epidural space. The length of pain relief depends on the severity of your back pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulators: Spinal cord stimulation is offered when other treatments have provided no relief for lower back pain. A small device, no bigger than a stopwatch is injected underneath the skin using a hollow needle containing thin insulated wires attached to electrical contacts. The incision is either made in the upper chest, upper buttocks or the abdomen. You are placed under sedation and a local anesthetic is applied to the area where the insertion will take place. The device works by masking pain signals before they reach the brain.
Radiofrequency Ablation: The procedure works by a radio wave emitting high speed electrical currents to heat up the nerve tissue to reduce pain. This treatment provides pain relief for six to 12 months or longer.
Intrathecal Pump: A round metal pump is implanted under the skin which delivers medication through a catheter directly to your spinal cord. This method requires smaller doses than other medication; therefore, reducing any associated side effects.
Bioelectric Therapy: This method uses bioelectric currents to prevent pain messages from travelling to the brain. Bioelectric therapy also stimulates the release of endorphins into the body which is a natural pain reliever.
Spinal Decompression: Spinal decompression therapy helps to relieve back pain by gently stretching the spine to reposition it. This relieves pressure from the spinal disks promoting the flow of nutrient rich fluids, water and oxygen to the disks allowing them to heal.
Over The Counter Medication: Anti-inflammatory medication such as Tylenol, ibuprofen and Panadol are effective pain relievers for lower back pain. If you are taking any other medication, or suffer from a medical condition such as liver disease, kidney disease or ulcers, check with your doctor beforehand to ensure it is safe take over the counter medication.
Topical Pain Relievers: Topical pain relievers are applied directly to the skin to provide short term effective pain relief. They are available in creams, lotions or sprays, you can purchase them over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.
Change Your Diet: To improve your joint and muscular health, maintain a healthy diet. Processed and sugary foods are linked to inflammation which contribute to back problems. For lumbar pain management, consume foods that are high in the following:
Exercise: Regular full body exercise is another effective treatment for lumbar pain management. Exercise helps to eliminate back problems by reducing inflammation, increasing flexibility, strengthening muscles and improving posture. A good exercise routine should include doing a combination of aerobic and cardio exercises as well as strength training. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should do a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Low back pain can affect anyone; however, there are several factors that can increase your risk. They are as follows:
- Activity Level: Sedentary people are more likely to suffer from low back pain than those who are active. Limited movement causes weak abdominal and back muscles that are unable to support the spine.
- Place of Employment: If your job involves continuous heavy lifting, or long periods of standing or sitting, your risk of back pain will increase.
- Age: As you age, the body becomes weaker; as muscle tissues and bones start to deteriorate, the risk of back pain increases.
- Diet: Your diet is just as important as your activity level; a bad diet coupled with little to no exercise will lead to you becoming overweight, and excessive weight causes back pain.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women experience loose ligaments in the pelvic area, a redistribution of body weight and the movement of abdominal organs; all of which increase the risk of lower back pain.
- Mattress Choice: A mattress that is too soft or too hard will cause back pain. The ideal mattress is somewhere in the middle of the two above extremes.
Pain Doctors In NY Who Treat Back Pain
There are a variety of health specialists who can assist with lumbar pain management; each professional has a slightly different role. They may need to refer you to other specialists such as physical therapists. Who you see will depend on the symptoms and severity of your condition.
Neurosurgeon Pain Doctors in NJ: A neurosurgeon is qualified to diagnose, treat and manage conditions that affect the nervous system. Some neurosurgeons are trained to treat specific spinal ailments such as low back disorders.
Orthopedic Pain Doctors in New York: Orthopedic surgeons specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Some are generalists while others are trained to treat certain areas of the body such as the spine. They suggest non-surgical treatment options first such as rehabilitation or pain medication.
Interventional Pain Doctors in New Jersey: Intervention pain doctors use the latest treatment options as well as holistic therapy to treat lower back pain. They evaluate the patient as a whole and look beyond medicine to treat symptoms.
Physiatrist in NJ: Physiatrists specialize in treating musculoskeletal conditions, some specialize in solely spinal health. Physiatrists who treat back pain are trained in diagnostic testing, physical examination, and injection techniques. They also advise patients about the possibility of spinal surgery.
If you are suffering from back pain, it is essential that you see a pain doctor in new jersey who specializes in pain management (if you want a good pain management doctor go here). An accurate diagnosis of the underlying causes of your condition will determine the treatment options available to you. A good pain doctor who has your best interests at heart will ensure you are provided with the best non-surgical, non-opioid solution.